Roy Keane called out for 'unfair' Erling Haaland comment by ex-Premier League winner - 'Just not true'

Roy Keane called out for 'unfair' Erling Haaland comment by ex-Premier League winner - 'Just not true'

WATCH NOW: Sports roundup as Roy Keane criticised for Erling Haaland comments

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 01/04/2024

- 20:16

The ex-Manchester United captain has received flak for his bold comparison

Roy Keane has been criticised for his comments on Erling Haaland where he likened the striker to a 'League Two player'.

Former Blackburn star Chris Sutton claims Keane's opinion of the Norwegian is 'just not true' and said the pundit was just 'looking for something' to say.

Haaland had a difficult match against Arsenal on Sunday where he failed to register a shot on target in the goalless draw at the Etihad.

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes defended admirably against the prolific frontman, who hasn't scored in the three times he has faced Arsenal this season.

Roy Keane and Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland has been defended after Roy Keane criticised the Man City star

Sky Sports/Getty

Haaland was sometimes clumsy in possession and wasted the one big chance he did have by completely missing the ball.

That led to Manchester United legend Keane giving a brutal verdict on the 23-year-old in his post-match analysis.

He said on Sky Sports: "The levels of his general play is so poor and not just today.

"I think laying stuff off, headers, whatever it might be. In terms of in front of goal, he’s the best in the world.

"But his general play for such a player is so poor. Not just today, he has to improve.

"He’s almost like a League Two player, that’s how I look at him. His general play, it has to improve and it will do over the next few years."

Haaland is the Premier League's leading goalscorer this season with 18 to his name after a record-breaking tally of 36 last term.

Sutton says Keane's criticism is 'harsh' and says City have bigger problems than their superstar forward.

He said on the It's All Kicking Off podcast: "Slightly harsh. You know, everybody's looking for a reason for that and a scapegoat and I think it's slightly unfair.

"Because we all know why Erling Haaland was signed for Manchester City. Why was he signed? To score goals.

"Can his hold-up play be neater? Can it be better? Can he be cleaner? Yes, he can.

"But that's not what he was brought for. I mean, the bigger problem yesterday for Manchester City, was that he had one shot on target.


Roy Keane

Erling Haaland was compared to a League Two player by Roy Keane

Sky Sports

"But how many chances did Haaland have? He had the big chance which, you know, he did fluff his lines, which is unlike him.

"That's very unlike Erling Haaland. But this season, I think it's fair to say, he still had an excellent season, but he hasn't hit the heights of last season.

"But those sort of heights are always gonna be difficult to hit. So I think the greater problem for City was the lack of creativity from other areas.

"Haaland isn't the problem, as far as I can see. I just think that, you know, Roy Keane, and the other guys in the studio, are just looking for something there.

Erling Haaland and Gabriel Magalhaes

Erling Haaland had a difficult match against Arsenal on Sunday


"And to label him as a League Two hold-up player, well, that's just not true. That's unfair."

Haaland is often put in the conversation with Harry Kane as two of the best strikers in Europe but Sutton says there are clear differences between the pair.

He added: "Harry Kane likes to drop deep. He has that ability to get on the half turn and slide a pass. That's not part of Haaland's skill set. They want him high up, occupying the centre-halves.

"And when [Kevin] De Bruyne gets on the half turn or [Phil] Foden does, then he makes his movements. And, you know, that's what his role was at Manchester City'."

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